We have already visited Burano, Murano and Tortello, the best known islands in the Venetian lagoon. We want to return to Burano and Murano but also go to Erasmo via the Lido and Treporti. The sun is shining when we depart from Fondamenta Nuove at 11.15 on line 14 and after an enjoyable one-hour ride seated at the back of the vaporetto, we arrive at Treporti.
During the fifteen minutes we’re there, we admire the terrace of the only restaurant in sight and hope we’ll find something similar in Erasmo, which is Venice’s orchard and vegetable garden, according to Le Routard. As we haven’t been getting many vegetables apart from our 5:2 fast days, we’re hoping to make up for it.
Our little vaporetto takes us past marshy land with decoy ducks on the posts instead of the usual seagulls, and Burano and the snow-capped peaks of the Dolomites in the distance.
It takes us twenty minutes to get to Erasmo Chiesa and we are almost the only ones to alight. Apart from a couple of those little three-wheeled pick-ups they have in Italy and a few bikes, there’s no one in sight. We walk about 5 minutes along the water to the right and decide it doesn’t look like restaurant material so we start walking in the other direction.
After the constant throng in Venice, we’re amazed at the tranquillity. We pass fields of artichokes, zucchini and rosemary and can smell a barbecue somewhere but no sign of a ristorante or a trattoria or even a bar. After a half an hour we reach the Punta Vela vaporetto stop just as the boat arrives and waive to the driver so he’ll wait for us.
By now it’s 1.15 and we’re wondering how long the Antica Dogana in Treporti will keep serving. A few sunny tables are occupied on the terrace but it’s windy and a little chilly. We find a spot at a small round bare table close to the wall and ask if we can eat there. The waiter looks askance and goes off to find his boss. Other people arrive at the same time and suddenly the two waiters are moving laid tables in every direction. Our round one is whisked away and replaced with a square one.
After a short time, the first waiter arrives with a cold bottle of water, one menu (they’re short today because there are a lot of people inside) and a basket of grissini (bread sticks) and bread. Fortunately, we have a great view with a lot of boating activity because we don’t get to order for another 30 minutes!
We choose an excellent soave wine and a house welcome turns up consisting of fried baby prawns and polenta.
We then share strozzapreti with Dublin Bay prawns, queen scallops and asparagus and fresh egg pasta with cuttlefish. I check my iPhone app to see what strozzapreti means and think I must have misunderstood but at home I learn that it does indeed mean priest stranglers, one explanation being that that gluttonous priests found the hand-rolled pasta so delicious that they ate too quickly and choked themselves, sometimes to death.
By the time we are served it’s nearly 3 pm so we finally take the 3.44 boat to Burano after an excellent meal and very friendly (if not speedy) service – and no choking – promising ourselves desert in the form of a gelato on Burano, which turns out to be another interesting story!